SARDINIA/A Land of Innovators

Is Sardinia green?” Asks the CEO of the Sardegna Film Commission Nevina Satta at the opening of the ECAD con- ference. “Yes, it is. And that’s not enough: we believe that it should be more present in the imagination of the people.
To do so, it is necessary to create a dialogue among all the productive sectors, so that films can celebrate the best practices of public administration and private business of Sardinia as an example for Europe.
“Since the discovery of the many unknown ‘green’ heroes and heroic projects scattered around the island, we felt the need to involve the audiovisual sector of the island in the call to celebrate these heroes of sustainability.
And it is once again from public administration that the dialog with private companies has been started, pushing them toward a green approach, “taking into account also the aspect of energy conservation and the needs of the territory” – says Valter Songini, head of communication of Sardegna Ricerche, partner of the Sardegna Film Commission on the Heroes 20.20.20 project.
“Today in Sardinia we can speak of an ecosystem of entrepreneurial innovation that is very fruitful” and developed by the mix of research and innovation. The island that twenty years ago created the first Internet European provider is now a region that sees the contradictions accentuated though: great investment in the energy saving plan and use of renewable energy to achieve the ob- jectives of Europe 2020 (central to the actions of the Office for Energy Service Industry) on the one hand, and a high youth unemployment rate on the other.
“The Region of Sardinia has created long ago several pioneering projects – says the creator of the project Sardegna Compra Verde Luca Cocco, from the Environment Department – which have changed in a constructive way the relationship between supply and demand, in green purchases made by the Public Administration”.
Not only environmental attention: innovation is green even when it creates new models of social relationship and consumption that are economically and ethically sustainable.

This is the case of Sardex: a young network (born in January 2010) of 2500 companies and professionals that can self-finance projects and services by using the”Sardex”, an alternative digital currency to the Euro, used to exchange goods, services, etc.
This innovative model is today building momentum, and is raising interest both amongst academics and professionals of the real new economy.
“We looked at the so called excess of capacity, focusing on the potential productive capacity of the comanies. Their capacity to produce goods and services is the real value of cashflow, and we connected these to the companies needs” explains Carlo Mancosu, Founder of Sardex.
“This year we “moved” 30 million Euros of purchases and investments that wouldn’t have been out there without our platform. For next year our goal is to double this result and reach 60 million Euros”.
From 2013 Sardex became also a productivity bonus, chosen by 1200 employees of the companies registered to the platform; many have also chosen Sardex as the advance payment for their future retirement funds or benefits (used to cover from car manteinance to the dentist’s bills).
This has generated not only a reinforcement in the relationship of small and medium businesses employees but it has also activated the sense of belonging to a new social pact.
Sardex is getting popular and last year only it was developed in 7 different Italian regions: our aim is to create a network of networks, in order to multiply the excess of productivity and investment capacity of each single region.
The need of co-operation is within us, many of our members talk about Sardex as a family, a place where they meet each other, where human relations become economic negotiations and make the economy human-sized again. For all these reasons the network now created is for us more important than the results that it produces.

Networking and innovation are also the key concepts of the Tiscali Open Campus, a co-working space created in the Tiscali Headquarters in Cagliari and dedicated to innovators and digital start ups.
“Our mission is to spread the digital culture, promote the spirit of business turning Sardinia into a digital island: We contribute to transforming our land into a place where you can work in an healthy and sustainable way and be in constant contact with the world —explains Alice Soru, founder of the Tiscali Open Campus— We have launched co-working initiatives, networking and training events as well as start up services, believing in sharing experiences and contamination between people and their backgrounds. Today we count 70 people, 12 start-ups, 5 senior companies and 10 free lance professionals who share an urgent need to be connected and updated.
They all come from ICT sectors, but work in different areas (software develpoment, e-commerce, design, gaming, mobile apps, sharing economy, 3D and projection design, drones, social media, videomaking, animation, energy efficiency).
Sharing spaces both Physically and Digitally is our goal, that gives birth to a community full of trustful relationships: this is what we call sustainability for Open Campus” ends up Soru: “The financial crisis and new technology have completely changed our economic relationships, the new course today is the so called “sharing economy” where collaborative platforms enable people to access services at competitive prices.

Last but not least, coming as the international creative industry case of sustainable Sardinia is Time in Jazz, the Jazz Festival created by the well known trumpet player Paolo Fresu, in his hometown Berchidda, North Sardinia.
Sustainability for Time in Jazz organizers Giannella Demuro and Emanuele Gosamo starts from the essence of jazz:
“Jazz is improvisation. Improvisation means constant dialogue. To make it work you must listen, and dialogue. People and Nature do the same. Listen and dialogue. Our Festival is deeply connected with the environment, not only because of the attention to the territory (we indeed take our public to discover the most inner authentic places by doing concerts in the woods or churches) but also because we believe in authenticity and good practices.
Sustainability for us is more than a stage run by solar panels: it is development of local skills for the new generations, it is the investment in their professional standards so that they can emerge as individuals but also make the community emerge”.

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